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The global in-flight entertainment & connectivity market size was USD 5.40 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach USD 9.92 billion by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 8.18% during the forecast period (2019 – 2026).
The in-flight entertainment & connectivity (IFEC) system is a source of entertainment available to the passenger during air travel. These systems include multiple entertainment options such as movies, music, games, and videos, among others. The IFEC systems are portable and non-portable in design. The portable in-flight entertainment system can be a headset, tablets, or laptops, among others. Nowadays, airline operators provide in-flight entertainment systems that allow access to the internet, mobile phone usage, and video streaming on personal devices or on devices provided by airline operators during flight hours. The IFEC system is installed on commercial aircraft and business-chartered planes to enhance the passenger travel experience, passenger comfort, and safety. The airline operators further improve the passenger’s in-flight experience by replacing non-portable seat centric inflight entertainment screens with a portable and wireless IFE system as a part of conventional IFE system upgradation.
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Recently, there has been advancement in the aircraft in-flight connectivity; this has led to improved aircraft performance, flight safety, and also reduced the overall weight of the aircraft. Moreover, the advanced in-flight entertainment & connectivity system requires low maintenance as compared to their conventional connectivity systems. Thus, the key players in this market are involved in developing new innovations and adopt new strategies to enhance their market share. Therefore, the demand for aircraft IFEC systems has further increases during the forecast period.
Growing Adoption of Advanced Wireless IFEC Technologies to Reduce the Overall Aircraft Weight
The conventional aircraft IFEC system is bulky in size as they are wired and non-portable in designs. Also, these systems increase the weight burden on the aircraft. Hence the conventional in-flight entertainment and connectivity system is replacing with the wireless IFEC system. The wireless IFEC system is lightweight and thereby reduced the overall weight of the aircraft and improve the aircraft fuel economy. Moreover, the wireless in-flight entertainment & connectivity system allows the hassle-free internet access, web browsing, and video streaming on the passenger’s devices; thus, the demand for wireless IFEC systems has increased worldwide.
Increase in The Adoption of Satellite Communication & Internet Connectivity
In satellite communication, the information can be transfer at different data rates depending upon the type of frequency bands. The Ku-band offers high-speed data transmission among other frequency bands such as L-band, and Ka-band. Thus, to improve the passenger’s in-flight experience, the airline offers an IFEC system based on the SATCOM network. This advanced communication technology can offer fast video streaming and high-speed internet access.
Increase in Aviation Passenger Transportation Is Resulting in Increased Commercial Aircraft Deliveries
A rise in the affluence of the middle classes in emerging economies is the major reason for the increase in air passenger traffic around the globe. Due to emerging economies such as India and China, an additional 200 million people are anticipated to enter the middle-class population across the globe, thereby increasing the demand for overall air travel and aircraft deliveries. In 2019, Airbus S.A.S. forecasted the demand for more than 39,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years. Moreover, the airline operators started attracting more passengers by providing amenities such as in-flight entertainment and internet connectivity, similar to first and business class to premium economy class passengers. These facilities also help airline operators to maximize the revenue per trip, as the demand for the in-air shopping services from the airline passenger. These factor are likely to rise in demand for the IFEC market during the forecast period.
Modernization of Conventional Aircraft IFEC System to Improve Passenger Experience
Evolving technologies in passenger traveling, such as entertainment devices, seat actuation, user friendly devices, are replacing the conventional IFEC systems. For instance, demand for touch screen displays in the IFEC market is replacing the conventional display setup, acting as a major factor behind the growth of the aircraft inflight entertainment systems market. Continuous up-gradation of existing in-flight entertainment system architecture is the key factor for the market growth for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services in in-flight entertainment & connectivity market.
Aircraft IFEC systems hardware is always exposed to liquids, fluids, and even handled roughly by passengers, which increases the chances of failure in IFEC devices and components. Thus the failure of such hardware results in the frequent maintenance of these devices; this, in turn, increases the demand for repairing and replacing the hardware component. Thus the increase in the demand for hardware maintenance is supporting the market growth.
The complexity in the development of IFEC system design architecture is a major restraining factor to the market growth
The need for designing the in-flight entertainment & connectivity system at minimum volume, minimum weight, and reduced maintenance cost is one of the biggest challenges for the OEMs. The IFEC system involves a huge amount of hardware cost, such as wires, displays, monitors, actuators, gaming consoles, and others. Also, these systems have value integrated electronic circuits and electronic components, which increases the overall cost of the aircraft inflight entertainment systems. Thus the high cost of the aircraft hardware and product development is the major factor restraining the growth of the market.
However, increased investment in the R&D activities by the key players for the development of wireless in-flight entertainment connecting technologies can propel the market growth during the forecast period.
High Demand for Advanced Connectivity in The Long-Haul Flights
Based on the product, the market is classified into IFE hardware, IFE connectivity, and IFE content. The IFE hardware is further sub-segmented into a portable IFE system, and non-portable IFE system. The IFE connectivity is sub-segmented into wired connectivity and wireless connectivity.
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The IFE content segment includes internet access, in-air shopping, and others, and it is estimated to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period. Increase demand for high-speed internet access by business passengers is the major factor behind the growth of this segment. Multiple airlines are focusing on the adoption of advanced connectivity technologies such as SATCOM, or ATG, which provide onboard internet access at a high data transmission rate. The onboard internet access can improve the passenger's inflight experience by offering hassle-free content streaming, browsing, e-mail, or shopping, among others.
Increase in The Installation of Premium Economy Class Seats from Low-Cost Carrier/Airlines
By class, the market is segmented by first class, business class, premium economy class, and economy class. In 2018, the business class segment was projected to be the largest segment of the IFEC market, owing to the increasing demand for more passenger comfort and advanced features such as digital displays, high speed internet, and portable devices. Furthermore, the business class provided multiple entertainment options such as e-shopping, e-books, mobile usage, and high speed internet connectivity for the personal device to enhance passengers' experience than other classes.
The premium economy class segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment of the market during the forecast period. This growth is attributed to the increasing demand for premium economy seats by air travelers as the business class tickets are expensive than the premium economy class seats.
Upsurge in Demand for Long Haul Narrow-Body Aircraft Deliveries
By aircraft type, the market is classified into a narrow body aircraft, wide body aircraft, business jets and regional aircraft. In 2018, the narrow body aircraft was estimated to be the largest segment of the market and is predicted to be the fastest-growing segment in the market during the forecast period. For instance, the demand for narrow body aircraft from the low-cost airlines has increased, as Narrow-body aircraft are majorly used for inert city, and long-distance flight compares to wide body aircraft. Owing to the sheer growth in air passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. For instance, according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the number of air passengers is increased rapidly, the global air passenger number in 1998 was 1.46 bn, and it was counted 3.9 bn in 2017.
Growing Commercial Aircraft Deliveries Is Supporting the Growth of The OEM Segment
Global in-flight entertainment & connectivity market based on the end-user industry includes OEM and aftermarket. The OEM segment is expected to grow at a significant growth rate during the forecast period owing to increased demand for aircraft in developing economies such as China and India.
The aftermarket segment is expected to dominate the largest share of the market due to the increased up gradation of the existing aircraft fleet for the enhancement of passenger safety and comfort.
The findings based on our research methodology indicate North America was estimated to hold the largest in flight entertainment & connectivity market share in 2018. Moreover, the region has the presence of large number of in-flight entertainment & connectivity system manufacturers that facilitate the growth during the forecast period.
North America In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market Size, 2018 (USD Billion)
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Europe was estimated to hold second large in-flight entertainment & connectivity market share in 2018 owing to the presence of multiple in-flight entertainment & connectivity system manufacturers in this region such as Safran, Thales Group, and Lufthansa Systems among others.
As per our market research study, Asia Pacific is expected to witness strong growth in the market during the forecast period owing to the significant rise in commercial aircraft deliveries in developing countries such as India and China. The region is expected to witness long-term growth in aircraft inflight entertainment & connectivity market.
Furthermore, in-flight entertainment & connectivity industry in the Middle East is expected to increase at significant CAGR, owing to the significant number of air passengers in these regions. Also, the increasing investment in the tourism sector in the region is expected to drive the market in the Middle East. Moreover, the in-flight entertainment & connectivity market in the rest of the world will be expected to witness moderate growth due to the increase in global air passenger traffic.
Adoption of Continuous Innovation and Acquisition & Collaborations Strategies, To Sustain in The Market
The competition landscape of the IFEC market depicts the domination of selected players such as Thales Group, Panasonic Corporation, and Gogo LLC, among others. A diversified product portfolio of IFEC solution, along with increased investment in R&D and strategic acquisition, are prominent factors responsible for the dominance of these companies. These companies are adopting organic and inorganic growth strategies such as mergers and acquisitions, a new product launched, entering into a long term contract with airlines, and building long term relationships with OEMs.
The report offers qualitative and quantitative insights on the in-flight entertainment & connectivity systems and detailed analysis of market size & growth rate for the segments in the market.
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Along with this, the report provides an elaborative analysis of market dynamics, emerging trends, and competitive landscape. Key insights offered in the report are the adoption of advanced technology, recent industry developments such as partnerships, mergers & acquisitions, consolidated SWOT analysis of key players, Porter’s five forces analysis, business strategies of leading market players, macro and micro-economic indicators, and key industry trends.
An Infographic Representation of In-Flight Entertainment & Connectivity Market
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Value (USD Billion)
By Aircraft Type
In 2018, the global in-flight entertainment & connectivity market was USD 5.40 Bn, and it is anticipated to reach USD 9.91 Bn by 2026, growing at a stellar CAGR of 8.18% during the forecast period (2019-2026).
In the market, IFE content, narrow body aircraft type, and OEM end users are the leading segments.
Some of the driving factors for the market are the rising aircraft deliveries owing to increased passenger traffic, increased demand for advanced technologies to enhance the passenger experience, and increase in investment by IFEC systems manufacturers.
In the market, some of the key players are Safran, Thales Group, Burrana Pty Ltd, Viasat, and Panasonic Corporation. These players are focusing on acquisition and collaborating with domestic players to strengthen their in-flight entertainment & connectivity system based portfolios.
In the market, the key players are mainly focusing on establishing a strong supply chain network in high growth regions such as Asia-Pacific. It is also involved in acquisitions and technological collaborations to strengthen its market share. Furthermore, investment in the R&D capabilities for designing lightweight, durable, and cost-effective in-flight entertainment & connectivity systems.
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